SOCHI, Russia – John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn.) tallied the lone goal, as the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team was clipped by Finland, 2-1, here this evening at Bolshoy Ice Dome in its fourth and final preliminary round game at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Team USA finishes round-robin play with a record of 2-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L), earning the third seed entering the quarterfinals.
“We came out and gave ourselves plenty of chances to win this game,” said Don Granato, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. “This is a very tough tournament and every game holds importance. We would have liked to earn the second seed, but will prepare no differently for our upcoming matchup in the quarterfinals.”
Thirty-seven seconds into the game, Hayden intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and slid the puck between the pads of Finnish netminder Juuse Saros for the game’s opening score.
Team USA tested Saros 25 times in the second stanza, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Finland tallied the lone goal of the frame off an odd-man rush at 16:14, knotting the game at one.
With the game deadlocked at one, the U.S. was whistled for holding and sent to the box. Team USA successfully killed the Finnish power play, but scored just 10 seconds later to gain the lead. The U.S. sent 15 shots on net but was unable to find the equalizer.
Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) turned aside 17 shots in the loss for Team USA, while Saros made 49 saves in the victory for Finland.
The U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team will next skate in the quarterfinal round against Sweden on Thursday (April 25) at 4 p.m. local time (8 a.m. EDT), at Shayba Arena. The game will be streamed live onFASTHockey.com.